The STRIKFORNATO staff added to the exercise by representing the NATO headquarters in preparation for the upcoming ARG/MEU deployment. U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units trained on NATO procedures, communications, and policy in order to better prepare the ships, aircraft, ground units, and staff for their upcoming scheduled deployment.
The staff at STRIKFORNATO provided a live NATO command for Commander Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6 and 22nd MEU staff embarked aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), flagship of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSG ARG). This exercise allowed the ARG/MEU staff to utilize NATO systems and structure to understand how to work within the NATO Alliance. Additionally, it also provided invaluable training for the STRIKFORNATO staff in their interaction with U.S. Navy and Marine Corps forces in expeditionary warfare scenarios across the spectrum of conflict.
This event supports Supreme Allied Commander Europe's (SACEUR) Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Strategy which places more focus in the deterrence of Alliance adversaries.
While STRIKFORNATO has previously taken part in East Coast carrier strike group COMPTUEX exercises, this is the first time the staff has taken part in an ARG/MEU COMPTUEX. STRIKFORNATO will continue to partner with Amphibious Ready Groups and Marine Expeditionary Units under their national training organization in order to better prepare their staff and Alliance units to operate as a cohesive team in conflict and crisis.
Kearsarge ARG supports embarked amphibious forces in missions such as rehearsals, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and assaults upon hostile shores in support of national policy during low intensity conflicts and as a component of an integrated battle force during major conflicts. Kearsarge ARG has the capability to land troops and equipment by air and sea simultaneously, and supports troops in the field with fixed and rotary wing attack aircraft.
Captain David Guluzian, Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six simultaneously commands Kearsarge ARG which consists of USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24), dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98). Embarked commands include Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 23), Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4, Naval Beach Group 2, Beach Master Unit 2, and the 22nd MEU.
Colonel Paul Merida is the commanding officer of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force that provides strategic speed and agility, ensuring U.S. Marines are forward deployed and prepared to respond and protect U.S. national security interests around the globe. The Marine Expeditionary Unit can respond faster from longer ranges with greater capabilities across the range of military operations.
STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable headquarters that provides scalable command and control across the full spectrum of the alliance's fundamental security tasks. As part of that mission, STRIKFORNATO is responsible for integrating U.S. naval and amphibious forces into NATO operations.
ATLANTIC OCEAN – The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) transits the Atlantic Ocean Jan. 24, 2022. The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is the final pre-deployment exercise that certifies the Kearsarge ARG and 22nd MEU's ability to conduct military operations through joint planning, and execute challenging and realistic scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jesse Schwab)